When it comes to e-readers, the most popular one by a mile, has to be Amazon’s Kindle. The device has become synonymous with the term e-reader, giving users access to Amazon’s massive e-book store.
But, although Amazon pretty much rules the e-reader market with Kindle, it does not mean that the company is going to sit back and relax. Amazon has rolled out a new Kindle, one that fits between two of its most popular series: the base model and the Paperwhite. It will be available from April 10 onwards.
Here is all you need to read about the latest Kindle, called rather blandly the All-New Kindle (10th Gen), from Amazon:
Front light, read at night
The biggest highlight (pun intended) of the new Kindle is that the device now comes with adjustable front lighting — a feature that we have only seen in the Paperwhite and Oasis series. So now you can read even when it gets dark. The new Kindle comes with a display that seems similar to the one on the base Kindle model: a 6.0-inch e-ink display with 167 ppi resolution (well below the 300 ppi seen on the Paperwhite and Oasis).
Of course, being an e-ink display, readability on it will be excellent in sunlight, which is why Amazon calls it “glare free.” The brightness of the display will have to be adjusted manually — it is only the Oasis that has auto light-adjusting sensors. Now, it is only the base level Kindle that does not have any front light at all.
A very familiar, (slightly) slimmer design
When it comes to design, not a lot has changed in the new Kindle. The new Kindle has not inherited the famous Flush display from its more feature rich cousins. But the display of the device is slightly recessed from bezels, which judging by the pictures we have seen, seem a little smaller.
It is not waterproof either (like the Oasis and Paperwhite), which means you will not be able to enjoy reading by the pool or on the beach. That said, it is slightly more compact and slimmer than the basic model, measuring 160 x 113 x 8.7 mm, as against 160 x 115 x 9.1 mm. It is slightly heavier though — 174 grammes as compared to 161 grammes of the basic model.
No 4G, Wi-Fi only
The All-New Kindle comes only with Wi-Fi connectivity. It can connect to public or private Wi-Fi networks, or a hotspot that uses the 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication or Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). Right, in simple English, it means that you will have to use a Wi-Fi network to go online on it to purchase and download books.
Which is a slight disappointment for us, because the presence of 4G/3G on the device literally meant that you could buy books at any place even if you did not have a Wi-Fi connection (hey, travellers end up at strange places).
Still a big battery
One of the biggest plus points of the Kindle has been its staggering battery life — the e-ink display might seem colourless compared to an LCD or AMOLED one, but it means that you can actually go weeks on a single charge. And that has not changed with the All-New Kindle.
As per Amazon’s claim, the new Kindle can survive up to four weeks if used for half an hour per day with wireless connections off and with lights settings at 13 on a single charge. That seems a little extreme (imagine someone buying a Kindle and reading it for just half an hour a day), but we can safely assume that even heavy readers will get more than a week of reading done on the All-New Kindle. There is no fast charging — the device will take about 4 hours to get charged from 0 to 100 per cent, using the USB cable in the box.
Still 4 GB storage
The new Kindle Paperwhite and Oasis might be offering 8 GB and 32 GB storage options, but the All-New Kindle stays at 4 GB. That might not seem like much on paper, but it is enough to store thousands of books when you consider that most text-only e-books are often barely a few MB in size.
Of course, all your purchases are stored free on the cloud by Amazon, and you can download them to your device whenever you wish!
Text to speech
If you are the kind of person who likes their books read out to them, you will be glad to know that the All-New Kindle comes with VoiceView (available over Bluetooth), that will read out books to you, and also let you navigate your device. It is available only in English and is right now more of an accessibility feature.
But believe us, it can be handy. Interestingly, this was a feature that was previously available only on the Paperwhite and Oasis.
A new price point
The All-New Kindle comes with a new price tag as well. It is priced at Rs. 7,999, which puts it right between the basic Kindle (Rs 5,999) and the Kindle Paperwhite which starts at Rs 10,999 (the all-new Kindle Paperwhite is Rs 12,999 though).
The device is available for pre-orders on Amazon and will start shipping from April 10. We will let you know if it is worth the price in our review!